Forest Hills community fights to save Barnes & Noble

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Thousands of people have signed a petition to keep Forest Hills’ Barnes & Noble open.

“Its closure would signify the loss of Forest Hills’ only book store and a community cornerstone which also attracts patrons from beyond the immediate neighborho­od,” wrote Michael Perlman, the author of the petition and a community activist.

According to a spokesman for Barnes & Noble, the bookstore’s Forest Hills location has a lease that is about to expire and there is a chance that it will not be renewed.

The petition, which is on change.org and was created May 15, has more than 4,000 signatures. It is addressed to Muss Development, the holders of the retail space. It is also addressed to Barnes & Noble and New York City elected officials.

“Barnes & Noble on Austin Street first drew me to Forest Hills and was one of the reasons I decided to move here,” one of the petitioners wrote in the letter. “It is a valuable resource for all Forest Hills residents, as well as for those who shop there from neighboring [areas] such as Kew Gardens and Jackson Heights. Its existence here enhances the quality of life for all of us in the area. The lease for the Barnes & Noble store must be renewed.”

The bookstore has been in the area since 1995 and occupies a 22,000-square-foot space on two floors, according to the petition, and the store could close in January 2016 when the lease ends. But residents are hoping to convince all parties involved to keep the store in the area.

Last year a Barnes & Noble branch in Fresh Meadows closed. According to a spokesman, that location, too, was threatened by a lease expiration. The property holders and Barnes & Noble were unable to come to an agreement. Now it seems, the Forest Hills location will suffer a similar fate.

Community members from Fresh Meadows also created a petition at the time to try and keep the store opened.

If the Forest Hills location closes, there will be only one Barnes & Noble left in Queens, the chain’s store at Bay Terrace.

“The community needs this educational, cultural, social and recreational establishment on Austin Street, as opposed to only reading a book independently on a Nook or computer, or by resorting to an online retailer,” Perlman wrote.

Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejankiewicz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Posted 12:00 am, May 28, 2015
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

anon1 from queens says:
This is outrageous! Personally, I do not engage in reading. However, for those who do, it is not just a place to buy books but having spaces to even relax to check them out. Bookstores are closing all over and this one should stay as I am sure it brings people to the strip. I'm guessing it's a money issue as always with landlord companies stuffing their pockets and not caring about what will be a loss to a community.

Those who cannot afford gadgets to read shouldn't have to hang out in a library to do so as well as have access to many publications that a library may not have.

Events and book signings are valuable as well.

What would take its place? A small mall like the one across the street? More nail salons?
May 28, 2015, 11:31 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Anon stated "What would take its place? A small mall like the one across the street? More nail salons? "

Probably or another needless medical place. No matter, it will be replaced with crap that is already around.

If this was in Jamaica it would be replaced by a 99 cent store, dirty bodega or a Farmacia, but then Jamaica would not even have a book store to begin with, that would be too high brow.

Been to this place many times, plus the one in Fresh Meadows which was recently shuttered.

May 28, 2015, 4:43 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!